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Industrial action and local NHS pressures - Issued by Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB

Last updated: 20/12/2022

The health and care system across our area is currently in a critical condition.

There are many ambulances held at hospitals due to a lack of available beds for their patients. However, many people already in hospital are ready to go home or to another care setting.

To help with this, friends and relatives of individuals who are medically fit for discharge are asked to help with the practical arrangements that will enable their loved one to be discharged from hospital. Please also work with community teams to help loved ones at home with meals and domestic support, as this will free-up staff to help others in greater need to have support at home.

Due to these pressures, it is very likely non-urgent, routine appointments and procedures will be cancelled and postponed, to prioritise treatment for those most acutely unwell in community settings, GP practices and hospitals. You will be notified directly if you are affected by the changes.

If your conditions are not life-threatening, you will have to wait longer than usual for an ambulance and, where safe and appropriate, may be asked to make your own way to hospital – although it is important you get medical advice from 111 or 999 before doing so.

Due to these extraordinary pressures, it’s important to use the right service for your needs.

Hear from Dr Geeta Iyer about how to choose the best service and #HelpUsHelpYou.

Industrial action

The NHS in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire is working hard to keep people safe during the planned strikes, while delivering the best care possible. Ambulance services will be taking industrial action on Wednesday 21 December. Find out more information.

No-one should put off seeking urgent or emergency care during the strikes and people with serious, life-threatening conditions will continue to be seen at our Emergency Departments.

However, please keep 999 and A&E clear for genuine life-threatening emergencies, and use NHS 111 online or by phone for other urgent care needs. If you are contacting 111, please give as much information as you can, as that will help you get the right support and advice.

On days when there is strike action, people should only call 999 if it is a medical or mental health emergency. Ambulances will still respond in these situations but this may only be where there is an immediate risk to life.

The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB website has detailed information on local services including community pharmacies, which can help with a wide range of minor health issues and advise if another NHS service is needed.

Information is also available via the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB Twitter channel.

Visit the NHS England website for further information about the strikes including answers to Frequently Asked Questions.